Effects of ionising radiation

Introduction

The effects of radiation can be divided into those that affect the individual irradiated and genetic effects. The latter are very small so we will concentrate on direct effects. These can be divided into high dose / dose rate and low dose / dose rate. Doses below a few hundred mSv or larger doses given over a very long period of time fall into the latter category.

The adjacent image shows an early x-ray procedure with both patient and doctor being irradiated. The doctor subsequently died of carcinoma possibly caused by his successive radiation doses. By the 1950s radiologists were getting cancer at an elevated rate compared with their colleagues.

early radiologist